Share it

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Goodbye to a Christmas Tradition


The very year that Anna dropped, another mischievous creature came into our lives as well. Thankfully, this creature, Krewfie, is was only with us for about four weeks a year. Yes, in 2005, the “Elf on the Shelf: A Christmas Tradition” was thrust upon the public and the merchants rejoiced. I have nothing against traditions, I have nothing against books as we have many Christmas/winter themed books and I have nothing against elves. Hermey the elf in “Rudolph” remains one of my favorites. However, with this book come great responsibilities, responsibilities that are often just too much to take over the holiday season. The gleeful day your progeny receive said elf, the must name it, and vow never to touch it. EVER! If the elf is touched in any manner by the children, his (I have yet to see a girl elf) powers will be zapped and once again, Christmas will be ruined, but not by a drunk family member.

As the story of the elf unfolds, your children will go from being pie-eyed and enthralled with its magic to realizing that Jimmy the Snitch has just moved in for the season. Yes, the elf is Santa’s top informant. The elf returns to the North Pole each night to talk to the Big Guy about the kids’ behavior, so you better be good for goodness sake! Not only are the kids now worried about Santa seeing them when they are sleeping they have to worry about this little troll too. It’s the NSA of the North Pole. I think many parents secretly hope that their elf will make the kids Santa’s bitch and they will do whatever it takes to please the big guy. At least that’s what they hope. Our elf, “Krewfie” (rhymes with roofie) worked for a bit, but as faithful readers will recall, the whole plan backfired and we ended up scrapping the elf for the sake of sanity.

And in the time since that first post about the elf, Pinterest came around which begat the posts on Facebook and other social media showcasing how you could create an entire month  of magic (!) a sense of Christmas wonder (!) special family memories (!) and deplete your time, wallet, and energy (!) with these precious/precocious elf set ups. Yes, questionably sane parents will create an entire month’s worth of scenarios to set up after their kids go to bed each night and even post pics of their elaborately decorated calendars to prove it. These ideas range in complexity from super simple: put the elf on the tree to what-the-fuck-were-you-thinking: stage snowball fights between your kids’ toys and the elf using powdered sugar and marshmallows on the table for a funny holiday surprise! The surprise will be that you’ll be late for work that day because the cat will get on the table at night and roll in the powdered sugar like David Lee Roth at a hotel room party circa 1983 and you’ll be stuck chasing it and your sugar-fueled children around the house while you attempt to clean up the mess and head out the door to be on time for school and work. 

To quote Sweet Brown, “ain’t nobody got time for that!”

Seriously, the holiday season is stressful enough without one more goddamned thing to worry about. I remember waking up in a panic one night as I couldn’t remember Tod moving the elf to show that he had gone to see Santa that night. Each night before we secured our CPAPS, we’d ask, “did you move the elf?” No wonder my blood pressure is high. So we are going to have “the talk” with the kids this year and tell them that due to layoffs in the North Pole, Krewfie is going to sit this year out and just hang out in Jackson this season (thanks Obama!). We’ll bring him out and place him with the myriad of other holiday decorations and just let him be. Anna is very close to the age where disbelief sets in, and I am okay with that. Eli is still infatuated with Ho Ho so we may have a few more years with him that is if Anna keeps quiet. It will be interesting to see how this holiday season goes.  We’ll continue with our other holiday traditions such as visiting Marshall, MI for their annual Holiday event, going to the D for carriage rides around the city, Nite Lights at the fairgrounds, visiting our families, and staying close to home on Christmas Eve and day.

Sanity is a gift, a gift which is often overlooked at Christmas.


Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Holiday Gift Ideas


The holidays are approaching and it’s time to buy gifts for all those special people in your life. Are you looking to expedite the death of a cranky, elderly, ultra-conservative family member? Why not consider buying my book to help speed up the process? The totally true story of a girl raised by two women who chose two gay guys to raise her kid is enough to send that Fox News watching Reaganite into cardiac arrest. Hell, the title alone, Jesus Has 2 Daddies is enough to push that aging papist in your life to an eternity with Pope John Paul and Ronnie himself. 

You can also watch your virulent homophobic family member choke on our love as the book tells the tale of our LEGAL gay/homo/sodomite marriage that took place in SAN FRAN-FUCKING-CISCO the very year that that Muslim fellow took office. The closeted bible-thumper at your holiday table will clutch their pearls (and possibly strangle themselves) when they read that we were allowed to adopt not one, but TWO precious little angels of Jesus and lead them into our seedy lifestyle.
Why not make the holidays brighter and do your family a favor?

You can find the book here: https://www.createspace.com/4404757

The Kindle version is here: http://www.amazon.com/Jesus-Has-Daddies-Thomas-McMillen-Oakley/dp/1938110048, but we all know how much they hate that internet stuff. Thanks Al Gore!

If you really want to piss them off, you can also buy the book at the Ella Sharp Museum’s Friends Gift Store. They’ll choke on the fact that this venerable institution is supporting our sodomite “lifestyle” and is selling the book out IN THE OPEN!

You can also stop by Common Language Bookstore in Ann Arbor and support the Westboro Baptist fighting homos Keith and Martin and their alleged commie bookstore. Not sure what the inventory is like, but hey, you can also stock up on lube and porn if needed while you’re there.

From our family to yours, all the best this holiday season.

Tom, Tod, Anna, and Eli.



Thursday, July 31, 2014

Beards, Beers, and Queers: Pitching our reality show


 Apparently beards and beer are the new thing for reality TV.

We've all heard of Duck Dynasty, and sadly, when Tod and I go out in public with our bearded brethren, we are often accused of being extras or wannabes for the next season. Pogonophiles will hover around and try to steal touches of our facial hair. Or, those channeling our mothers will offer their two cents on how we SHOULD be maintaining our facial hair and suggest places to get it trimmed. In light of all the homophobic crap the Duck assholes have said, I politely decline and move on when questioned by unknown passersby. Recently, Dark Horse Brewing in Marshall, MI (25 miles to the west of us) launched a reality show of their own called Dark Horse Nation on the History Channel. (http://goo.gl/qlErtY). We were a bit confused when we went there this spring with some friends and saw warning signs all over the property alerting us to the fact that we might end up on TV should we venture into the specified areas. I diligently checked my fly after each bathroom trip and made sure to behave even though the beers were flowing.  After all, who wants to see a sloppy drunk professor with their fly down? We love the brewery, and as you can tell, it’s a regular stop on our beer quests throughout the Mitten. Their space is awesome, the food is great, and their beer never fails to delight. We will pay top dollar for a DD to go and visit the brewery on date night or just to hang out. It’s that kind of space.

Our newspaper has been pimping the show constantly since the premier date was released, and the beard comments have once again started flying. “Dude, you should totallllly check out that show on the History Channel about the beer guys. BEARDS AND BEEER MAN!” We scored a sitter for the kids this past weekend and we went to the Michigan Brewer’s Guild Beer Fest in Ypsilanti, MI. The event is usually a cluster fuck of excruciating hipsters wearing Bill Murray tees and top knots, and this year was no exception. However, the Dark Horse booth was the E Ticket of the night and many of the hipsters were giving up their indie cred to bow at the temple of fame. Their lines stretched well into the crowd of revelers and they continually flung tees from the top of their set up to the eager crowds. This was great for all of us who weren’t sucked in by their new found celebrity as the lines for the other area breweries were much shorter, Chelsea Ale House, we’re looking at you!

Anyway, with the current trend of bearded anything making a splash on TV, we are going to push our own reality series called “Here comes Dark Duck Boo Boo: Michigan.” It’s the story of two gay dads, one who loves IPAs and pale ales and his husband who is always on the hunt for the perfect stout or porter in the Murder Mitten. Yes, it’s true opposites do attract, especially when it comes to two dads and two different kinds of beer. You don’t have to worry about the other one stealing your brews from the beer fridge. Throw in our two precocious children and this will be ratings gold. Anna will be there for the glam factor and, seeing as she is such an ingĂ©nue any songs or musical interludes will be choreographed and sung by her. Eli will bring the drama and the humor at the same time each week. Soon, the whole world will have their own “Moments of Eli” to talk about at the water cooler.


So, if there are any agents out there, this is our pitch. Two dads, two kids, on the hunt for the perfect stout. We promise we’ll make it interesting. Just buy us the beer. 

Let's do the math:

Two Dads
Plus rockin' facial hair
Minus the homophobia and bible thumping
Add Two Kids
Add Beer
Here's your Emmy

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

An update on the book



Back in December of 2012, my book, “Jesus has two Daddies” was published by 2 Moon Press in Marshall, MI. The process was fraught with delays and issues with the formatting of the digital version. Little did I know that the business was sold and is now no longer publishing or distributing. The dealings were rather shady and there is currently a lawsuit being brought forth by a group of us angry authors. While I was able to secure a good supply of my printed book, the Kindle version was never in my control. The formatting issues were never fixed, nor did I ever see a profit/royalty check from the publisher, even though many digital copies were sold.
You can find the new and improved, (and under my control) book here:
You can also find it on Kindle here:
If you’d like a signed copy, please email me at taoakley@gmail.com  and we can talk details.

Thanks!

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Preach it Tod!


My man posted this on his Facebook page and it has been shared all over the place.
I thought I would post it here for all those that are not on Facebook or didn't see it. It’s worth sharing.

Okay, I get that some of you believe homosexuality is wrong because the Bible tells you so.
What I don't understand is why you feel the need to legislate your religious beliefs on this issue?
Do you honestly in your heart, mind, and soul believe that by legislating your religious beliefs that homosexuals will suddenly say, "Oh, gee, I guess I shouldn't be homosexual any more"?
Why is this your key issue? Jesus and Paul both made it really clear in the Bible that if you get a divorce and then marry someone else you are an adulterer, why don't you legislate only one marriage certificate per lifetime?
Why do your religious laws have to apply to someone that doesn't practice your religion?
One final question, why are you one of my contacts, if you honestly believe that your belief in the Bible gives you the right to ban my marriage or Tom McMillen-Oakley from adopting our children, PLEASE DELETE ME NOW!"

There’s a reason I married this guy, he’s not afraid to speak his mind.
Preach Tod, preach!



Saturday, March 22, 2014

Wedding bells, ringing in the past and today


Us in California in 2008
Tod and I took a chance back in 2008 when we got married in California. To many of our friends and family, our commitment ceremony done in our backyard in 2001 was the best we could hope for in this backwards state of Michigan. In 2004, the “will of the people” prevailed and gay marriage was banned in MI. There have been several cases brought forward regarding this, but the most recent case DeBoer vs. Snyder was the one that ultimately toppled this unfair, unjust, and unconstitutional law.
When we flew to California in August of 2008, we told very few people, because we knew that once we returned home it would mean nothing. We didn't want the naysayers to try and talk us out of this rather expensive, and what appeared at the time to be futile undertaking.  But we wanted to be married, and California was one of the first states to allow residents from other states to marry without a residency requirement. Plus, we had rock-star DJ (and great friend) Jeb Edwards marry us. Flash forward to fall and Prop 8 put a temporary hold on our marriage for over a year, once again, the will of the people. The will of some heavily funded outsiders and religious groups (Catholics and Mormons… lookin’ at you) who really had no business meddling in my personal life and the personal lives of so many others.

But once again, we prevailed. Prop 8 was struck down; it went through many challenges, but in the end our vows, spoken in San Francisco’s City Hall near the bust of Harvey Milk remained intact.
Today, gay couples are lining up on this grey and cold Michigan morning to get married all over the state. Tod and I already are, and we can stay home and celebrate what took place six years ago in San Fran knowing that it is finally legal here in Michigan. Yes, this is about us dammit. It’s about us as a couple, it’s about us as a family, and it’s about us and our kids and what we can offer them as parents. Call us Groomzillas, but yeah, it’s all about us. While we won’t be donning our crazy pink vests today, we will look at our rings and marriage certificate and know that we made the right choice back in 2008. Our thanks to everyone involved and finally made this happen.

Us with the plaintiffs last night in Ann Arbor. 

You can read Judge Friedman’s scathing ruling, and judicial bitch slap to Snyder and Schuette over their defense of this archaic law here: https://www.documentcloud.org/documents/1094703-friedman-ruling.html


Thursday, March 20, 2014

A note on the death of Fred Phelps


This was originally written over 10 years ago. I found it in my hard drive and thought it would be worth sharing with the recent news of Phelp’s death. I don’t really remember what the genesis was for this, or who it was written for… but I do know that at the time, my thoughts on him and his work were quite different than they were today. As an artist, I support free speech, even if it’s hateful. This doesn't sit well with some of my friends and colleagues but I support it. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t agree with it, but I support his right to share his thoughts, even if they are hateful and ill-timed. And my views on religion have changed as well. Back then, we were going to church and I had an active prayer life. Now, we focus on our family and instead of sitting around talking to God in our heads. I am just happy I was able to outlive him and his hatred. Our rainbow flag is flying a little brighter today. 
Here is the letter:

Dear Reverend Phelps,

I was praying to God the other night, and asked Him to help me understand all the evils that are currently plaguing our world.  I couldn’t understand why such a benevolent creator would put such hateful and ungodly folks on this planet, and have them do work in His good name. Then it dawned on me…

I immediately thanked God for this revelation, and ended my prayer to write this letter to you. I did some searching on the Internet, and found that in all the places that you and your congregation gather to protest, there is a great deal of love and outpouring of support for LGBT people and issues.  Often times, there had been no support before, but with the advent of your protests, people rally and come together, united in their intolerance for hatred and narrow minds. 

You are doing God’s work, bringing people together to support LGBT concerns.  Look at all the money the folks in Ann Arbor raised when you were there!(see link) They couldn’t have done that without your help.  Other communities are beginning to use this method as well… making your protest pay off for other causes.  It’s a win/win situation for all the groups.  You get your protest, and they get the money.  The longer you protest, the more they make.  What a great plan!

And look at Ferndale, MI where you recently did your thing. The city really didn’t have a focus or any kind of support for LGBT supporters.  But once you announced you were coming, groups formed, support networks cropped up, and the whole city united against you and your message of hatred. And just in time for the holidays.  Without you in Ferndale, this new community wouldn’t have happened.  You really should have worn a bow that day, as this was a great present to this community!

Thank you Reverend Phelps and thanks you to your congregation as well.  You are doing God’s work, spreading His love and understanding, whether you realize it or not.  I now understand why you were put on this planet.  You are the galvanizer of communities and causes.  Where you wish to disband and protest, you instead create support and understanding.  Your little message of hatred spawns a greater message of love and Christian understanding.

Now when I pray, I thank my God each night for you and your congregation, and ask that He support you in your unintentional cause. You have much work to do Fred, you aren’t getting any younger.  Go out there and spread God’s word!

God Bless you Fred!